January 9, 2015

I unfriended my childhood pal over #JeSuisCharlie

je suis charlie Nathan W Pyle Loryn Brantz & Will Varner


France’s Jewish Defense League thanked Lassana Bathily by name on Twitter, saying he “saved many Jewish lives by hiding them in the cold room,” and using the hashtag “#JewsAndMuslimsRefuseToBeEnemies.”

The Muslim Clerk At The Paris Kosher Store Risked His Life To Save Jewish Shoppers (dailycaller.com) 

“He is a hero; he is Muslim. Everyone should read that, the story of Ahmed the muslim cop. Everyone should see the pictures of muslims praying for Charlie or should tell others about the presence of muslims to support rallies.
To Muslims, do not let haters steal your religion. The french people needs to hear you, they need it because they are bombed with hateful messages from everywhere.
To everyone, do not make the easy amalgam. Do not think that 1.57 billion people are responsible for what happened in France the last days.
I’m french, there is 4.4 millions muslims in France. Many of my friends are muslims, they are not different from my other friends. Thinking that Islam is a religion of violence is stupid, go read their sacred books and you’ll see it never promote violence.
~ A french atheist.

The answer to terrorism is tolerance, not fear.

There is nothing weak about tolerance. It takes more strength to respond with appropriate force than war. It takes more strength to respond, as Norway did some years ago, with a reminder to one’s citizens about core values of liberty, than it dos to lock a nation down in shouts of fear and macho patriotism and the TSA.

Remember the quote: the first one to raise her or his voice in an argument loses? This applies on a macro level, too.

The way to defeat terrorists is with loveLess war. More tolerance. More art. The way the cartoonists are responding in Paris is perfect: they are going to press. The way the Arab cartoonists are responding is perfect: with love, satire, and warnings against terrorism.

The way to defeat fear is not by giving up and getting tough. We saw how that worked out after 9/11. Recently, I posted this.

>>> Photo: “R.I.P Ahmed Merabet, 42, a Muslim police officer was killed in today’s attack.” 

With a quote: “They are uncertain in themselves, and so they feel threatened by anyone who might differ with them; through fanaticism, they attempt to protect themselves from doubt…” ~ Sheikh Hamza Yusuf (on the Paris shooting).

A childhood friend, a sweet woman and kind mother, replied that this is not the time for tolerance—because Islam was a faith and community of violence. I replied:

“My friend, serious? There’s all kinds of killy-y stuff in the Bible. Doesn’t mean that followers take that stuff seriously. Only extremists do. They killed a Muslim cop. They’re full of hate, not faith. “While not all Muslims are terrorists…”…big of you.

PS you’re right. MLK was wrong. Tolerance and love are losing strategies! Let’s go with hate vs. hate, I’ve heard fire defeats fire!”

Then, I unfriended her. I am all for mindful discussions and agreeing to disagree. I am not all for blaming a generalized population for something. That’s pre-judice–pre-judging. I am all for making up and being friends again. I have zero tolerance for prejudice.

When the going gets tough, we can hew to our values, or hew to fear and aggression. Take our pick—ahead of time, lest we lose our way in the heat of the moment.

Yours in the vision of Enlightened Society,

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